Direct Line Life Insurance Review 2023

When a relative passes away, your family will need as much support as possible.

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When a relative passes away, your family will need as much support as possible. Whilst financial protection can’t bring back the loss suffered, it can go some way to alleviating any additional stress that might be brought about as a result. Direct Line offers life insurance policies to potentially meet your needs.

Who Are They?

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Direct Line is an established British Insurer having been helping their customers with their insurance needs since 1984. It began life as the country’s first direct car insurance provider and now offers protection for customers over a number of products such home, travel and life insurance

What types of life insurance does Direct Line offer?

Direct Line offers two primary types of life insurance with an add-on option for customers to choose:

Level Term Cover

Your cover will be fixed in its payout amount for the duration of the policy period. This means you can be assured of the value of your life insurance policy’s benefit payment when it is valid for collection.

Decreasing Term Cover

If you have purchased a £50,000 life insurance policy to cover a mortgage, this might be a more effective type of life insurance cover. It will be more competitive than level term cover, and possibly suit your needs better. As mortgage obligations decrease over time, so does this life cover payout. A £50,000 life insurance policy will to nil upon policy expiry.

Critical 3 (Additional Critical Illness Cover)

Critical 3 adds Critical Illness Cover to your Life Insurance Policy. Life Insurance pays out upon death of a policyholder or a terminal illness, while Critical Illness pays out upon diagnosis of serious illness. In this case, it will be in the event of three specified conditions: Cancer (excluding less advanced cases), Heart Attack ( of a specified severity), and Stroke (also of a specified severity). It is designed to ease your financial burden in this event especially if you are left unable to work and continue to earn an income. This will enable you and any dependents you have to pay off debts or meet other financial obligations. This cover will only pay out once, but your Life Insurance policy with Direct Line will continue.

You will need to survive for at least two weeks in order to make a claim and the Critical 3 cover will end once your claim has been approved

Direct Line Life Insurance Product Offerings

We compare plans from the leading life insurance providers

Name Age Range at Application Cover Range Terms Pays Out Joint Cover
Direct Line Level Term Life Insurance 17-75 Unspecified 3 to 50 years (but policy must end before you turn 86) If you die or get a terminal illness during the cover period Yes, but the policy will only be paid out once
Direct Line Decreasing Term life insurance 17-75 Unspecified 3 to 50 years (but policy must end before you turn 86) If you die or get a terminal illness during the cover period Yes, but the policy will only be paid out once
Direct Line Critical 3 life insurance (add-on option, NOT standalone) 17-75 Unspecified 3 to 50 years (but policy must end before you turn 86) If you suffer a heart attack or stroke, or are diagnosed with cancer Yes, but the policy will only be paid out once
Direct Line Over 50s life insurance 50-85 (up to 81 for those who smoke Up to £15,000 Until you turn 90 If you die No

Life Insurance Features

Direct Line
  • Pays out a lump sum on death
  • Can choose between single or joint policyholders except for Over 50’s Life Insurance product
  • Several policy types available:
    • Level Term, Decreasing Term with a critical illness cover option
    • Insurance product specifically for Over 50’s

Additional Benefits

  • Second medical opinion at no extra cost: the best doctors will conduct an in-depth review of your diagnosis and medical case. It will then provide expert advice and recommendations for medical treatment.
  • £10,000 advance payment: this is a payment of up to £10,000. It brings some early financial relief when a claim has been agreed but you’re waiting on final payment.

Minimum and Maximum Ages/Policy Term

  • Minimum age 17, maximum age 75
  • Maximum Term: 3-50 years or until your age is 86

Why Might Direct Line Not Payout?

  • Failure to provide accurate policyholder details given at time of application
  • Self inflicted injury or suicide within 12 months of the policy start date
  • If you have chosen to add on Critical Illness Cover, a diagnosis for valid payout must be for one of the three illnesses listed on the policy document
  • Failure to maintain policy premium payments

N.B. Policyholders must reside in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland (not including the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands)

Defaqto Rating 2020

Three Stars (out of five), i.e. a standard product providing an average level of features and benefits


  • Flexible coverage options available, with different Term Covers (Level or Decreasing) to suit your needs.
  • No maximum coverage amounts specified, but payout amounts of £1,000,000 are available
  • Mortgage Payment guarantee: if you have purchased decreasing Life Insurance in relation to a mortgage, and at the time of making a claim your Life Insurance payout is less than the amount of the outstanding mortgage, AIG will pay the amount outstanding on your mortgage, subject to terms and conditions.
  • 99% of life insurance claims paid out: based on AIG data, 99% of life insurance claims were paid out in 2018
  • Also able to choose between single or joint coverage for a cost-effective way of protecting both yourself and your partner.
  • Your life insurance monthly cost stays fixed: if you don't change your policy, the monthly cost stays the same, helping you to budget.
  • 7% discount for existing Direct Line customers. Available for the duration of the policy. Subject to a minimum monthly cost of £5.


  • Term limits. Maximum terms up to 50 years or until you reach 86 years old, whichever is sooner. Some insurers offer whole of life coverage

How to contact Direct Line

Direct Line customers are introduced to AIG Life Limited by UK Insurance Business Solutions Limited who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registration number 313783

Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ Registered in England and Wales No.117998

Call free on: 0800 0778 297

Defaqto ratings

Type Plan name Rating
Critical illness (decreasing) Life Insurance 3
Critical illness (level term) Life Insurance With Optional Critical 3 3
Critical illness (direct with life cover) Life Insurance With Optional Critical 3 4
Life assurance (direct) Life Insurance With Optional Critical 3 5
Life assurance (decreasing) Life Insurance 3
Life assurance (level term) Life Insurance With Optional Critical 3 3
Over 50s life assurance Over Fifties Life Plan 5
Defaqto ratings were reviewed on 01/10/2023